By Laurie Puhn
Almost every couple has one: that seemingly trivial fight that just keeps
cropping up, day after day, month after month, making you feel as if you're
stuck in your very own version of Groundhog Day. Perhaps it's about your
husband's leaving his cereal bowl by the sink rather than in the dishwasher, or
your forgetting — oops! — to tell him that his mother called. The issues that
trigger bickering can seem insignificant, but when fights keep on resurfacing,
your otherwise happy...
Used to be, you'd have to ride out your curiosity about whether
this guy or gal is The One. You'd bide your time, look for little clues (Does
he talk about you favorably with the old married friends who fixed you up? Does
she invite you along to family parties, or say you'd just be bored?).
That's so 90s. These days, predicting the success of
relationships has become less of a gut instinct related to whether you both
drool over shrimp scampi, or the same web sites. If you want to know whether
you're headed into a long, happy union, or destined to part, let go of those
romantic, old-fashioned notions and take a long, hard look at the
science of your relationship.
More science, less crystal ball
While you've been fussing over what to wear, whether to comb
over the bald spot, and whether those dating rulebooks deserve any attention, a
new breed of relationship experts has been watching. Maybe they aren't watching
you and your string of never-to-be-seen-again dates, but they've been eyeing
plenty of other newly coupled couples, or those hoping to become couples,
trying to predict who is well matched and who's not.
And now, they've got some answers. Indeed, so sure are some of
these researchers about the science of predicting relationship success, they
teach it to other therapists for use in premarital or couples counseling
sessions. But anyone wondering if Mr. or Ms. Great Date will become Mr. or Ms.
Great Mate can make use of the information they have uncovered, and draw some
conclusions on their own.